ChaLEAN Extreme Review: Push Phase - aka Ahhnold's in da house

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Here's my Burn Phase Review.
Here's my
Lean Phase Review (includes final results).
Here's my Turbo Jam Review.

Phase 2 of the three phase ChaLEAN Extreme program is the Push Phase. This is the phase where you "go heavy or go home!" as Chalene likes to say and she's not joking.


There are 9 exercises in each circuit, just like in the Burn Phase, but instead of trying to reach failure between 10-12 reps, you're aiming for failure in 6-8.

A week in the Push Phase looks like this:
  • Day 1 - Push Circuit 1
  • Day 2 - Rest (this is critical because of the intensive weight training of Circuits 1 & 2 - you can add a cardio here, but don't do back-to-back Circuits)
  • Day 3 - Push Circuit 2
  • Day 4 - Burn Intervals & Ab Burner
  • Day 5 - Push Circuit 3 (with the exception of Week 1 which is Burn Circuit 3)
  • Day 6 - Burn it Off! & Recharge
  • Day 7 - Rest
Burn Intervals is a combination strength- and cardio- training that alternates bursts of intense activity with intervals of lighter activity. Ab Burner & Extreme Abs are 10 minute workouts that uses weights to work your middle. Burn it Off! is high intensity with light weights and approximately 30 minutes long and Recharge is a yoga-esque stretching routing that lasts 20 minutes.


You might think that you'd finish faster because you're doing the same amount of exercises, but with less reps, but it's actually the same because you do more Extreme Sets (a set of 3 extremely slow, concentrated reps) than in Burn, so the work out times are approximately the same (35-40 minutes long) for Circuits 1, 2, and 3.

The Burn Intervals & Ab Burner/Extreme Abs workouts total about an hour, as do the Burn it Off! & Recharge combo.


Because I had become stronger during Burn, I had to go purchase more weights (5lbs, 10lbs, & 20lbs), and I'm glad I did. Currently, I'm in Week 2 and I've already used my 20lb weights and might need to buy a set of 25lbs to finish the month.


Push Phase is no joke, but I actually like it better. I like the shorter sets and I really feel accomplished after lifting so heavy. Chalene is relentless in reminding you to support your back via ab contractions and protecting your knees with proper knee/ankle position.

The music is great, sometimes a little dramatic, but whatever. If I let myself get into the groove, I kinda dig how hard core it all is.

I haven't gained any more weight since Burn, so that's good, but others are seeing more results. My husband even made a great comment about how my butt's getting rounder and how that's a good thing! But, I also haven't lost anything. I've read that the Push Phase is when a lot of women gain their weight, so at least I'm not alone in this. And even though I gained mine in Burn I'm trusting that I just need to keep at it.

I'm surprised at how challenging Burn It Off (BIO), Burn Intervals (BI) and Recharge continue to be on my non-circuit days. Because I'm working harder during the circuits, I'm much more fatigued and so have to push myself even harder, thus getting a terrific workout.


7/9/09 Update:
Currently, I'm about to finish Week 2 and I'm still at +10lbs. I've been reading that some people need to add more cardio on their circuit days in order to see weight loss. I think I'm one of those people. I have Jillian Michael's Making the Cut (which I've never done since I didn't have the equipment or gym membership), but she's got some interesting advice in there. Particularly about afterburn, which means you burn calories not only during exercise, but after. So, if you split up your workout into two, then you get two separate afterburns. Combining this idea of adding more cardio to my week AND afterburn, starting next week I'm going to do a separate cardio workout on my circuit days at another part of my day to maximize my calorie burn.

I've also started calorie-counting again. Oh joy. I'm within my goal, but that's never really been enough, so I'm also on the wagon. Oy. I LOVE wine, so this is going to be hard. I'll just have to pretend I'm pregnant again.

I'll update at the end of Push Phase.

8/1/09 Update:
By the end of the Push Phase I hadn't lost any weight. Nor had I stopped drinking wine. I did lose 5 lbs the first week I used the BodyBugg, however, so I can attest that eating better does gain you results while on this program.


  1. LOL @ Ahhnold's in da house :-D

    This is an interesting review, I was wondering how Charlene's new program was. I tried TurboJam but holy crap, my knees coulnd't take it. On the other hand, I am a bit of a fatty (hello, understatement) but I think the 20-min routines in Jillian's 30-Day shred is about all I can handle right now.

    Thank you for sharing your progress! I'm an exercise video addict so if I want to try it in the future it will be great to know I can find lots of info here.

  2. Jessica-Where's your final update? We need to know!

  3. I like to use Tony Horton's Power Half Hour on my non-weight training days. His exercises are more fun, and they do push you! Keep us posted on your progress. I've just started and am already thinking of buying 25# weights too which is friggin' amazing!

  4. How is all of this going, do you feel it was worthwhile? i just ordered the chalean extreme, and I cant wait to start. I want it here NOW!! lol
    I am a big wine drinker too, so that is what I am worried about the most, is the giving up wine part. I dont drink alot, but I do drink 1 to 2 glasses a night, sometimes more on the weekend. I will try my best to stick to the eating plan, though.
    I am only about 15lbs overweight, so I am hoping this program will work well for me to get that extra weight off. I do a yoga workout tape,do a combo of walking/jogging about 3 times a week, and a wieght workout, (one I found in a magazine, pretty hardcore)about 2 times a week. But this is on a good week ;). I am looking for something a bit more consistent, and an actual "plan". That is why I ordered ChaLean. Wish me luck, I hope it works for me!! lol

  5. I am a big wine drinker too, so it's nice to see others post about it. The wine is my main concern when it comes to my fitness. I'm a P90X grad, Insanity grad and a Hybrid of the two grad, yet I still have some poundage, and I know it's because of the vino because I eat clean and healthy as I possibly can. I started CLX, but after the first week, I felt like I was "doing" anything compared to P90X and Insanity, so I thought I would do another round of those two, however, the length of P90X is starting to wear on me, so now I am considering CLX/Insanity...oh the possibilities! I think I will consider what another poster said and think of myself as pregnant again when it comes to the wine....lol